Articles Food & Drink

How to Wine & Dine in the Summertime

As the days get longer and the temperature gauge creeps slowly upwards, the Zimbabwean socialite tentatively emerges from hibernation looking to source sustenance in the form of good food, good wine and good vibes!

If you’re going to be entertaining under our wonderful blue African skies, there are a few things you may want to consider to ensure your event is hassle-free and fun.

Location, Location, Location

A few things to take into consideration when hosting at home:
Neighbourly consideration – if you’re planning on going late or loud, it’s well worth giving your neighbours the heads up (and possibly even inviting them over) in order to maintain diplomatic relations.
Parking – ensure you allocate space for guests to park that won’t involve them cutting up your well-manicured lawn, getting parked in or bashing through a flower bed on their way out. If parking on the street, be considerate of other road users and ensure you provide security.
Weather – whether it is positioning furniture in a few shady spots for those who are sun averse or making sure you have enough cover should the heavens open, take precautions. Consider putting together a care basket with sunscreen, paper fans and bug spray to make sure your guests stay comfortable no matter the weather.
Lighting – make sure that when the sun goes down, your guests don’t get left in the dark. There are plenty of pretty solutions available that don’t involve big spotlights or wiring: think tea lights in mason jars, hurricane lanterns or solar fairy lights.

Hydration

If you’re sticking to a low-key, budget-friendly get together, it is very socially acceptable to expect guests to BYOB. However, as the host/hostess you may want to consider providing at least some of the basics but if you’re planning on going all out, it’s well worth hiring a professional bar service to take care of all the details so that you have time to mix and mingle with your guests.

If you’re looking a for a fabulous, girly, Instagram-friendly, super on-trend addition to your backyard bar this summer, try this recipe for Frosé that we found at Real Simple.

Ingredients
1 (750 ml.) bottle of dry rosé
10 ounces fresh strawberries (about 2 cups, sliced), plus more for garnish (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ cup vodka
2 tablespoons grenadine

How to Make It
Step 1
Pour the rosé into ice cube trays and freeze until solid, 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2
Combine the strawberries and the sugar in the bowl of a blender and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until the berries begin to release their juices.

Step 3
Add the vodka, grenadine, and rosé cubes. Blend the mixture on high until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with strawberries, if desired.

Sustenance

The key is to keep it simple. Choose dishes that can be prepared in advance and ask guests to contribute so it becomes a collaborative and creative effort. Plus with all the wonderful Farmers Markets now being hosted throughout Harare, there is incredible fresh, in season, local produce to choose from.

Here are a few to check out for inspiration:
Maardorp Avenue Market (11 Maarsdorp Avenue) – Every Wed & Sat 8am – 12noon
The Jam Tree Market (40 Bargate Road) – Every Thurs 8:30am – 12:30pm
Upmarket (12 Maarsdorp Avenue) – Every Wed & Sat 9am to 12 noon
Amanzi Market (Amanzi Restaurant, Enterprise Rd) – Every Fri 9am to 12noon

Summer dessert prepared by Sophisti-catered (Amanda Wessels)

Entertainment

Think about the vibe you want to create and, of course, the composition of your guest list.
You don’t want the volume of the music to inhibit the ease of conversation; you’re better off using four or more speakers at a lower volume than blasting distorted white noise over your guests.
If you position your sound system toward the side of the house rather than directly into the middle of the party, you should be able to make it a little louder and the sound will spread out more evenly. Create a playlist made up of a combination of classics that everyone knows and some more up-to-date songs to keep the party going – you should probably aim at around five hours play time and, let’s face it, if guests realise that the playlist is repeating after five hours, they probably need another drink!

However you decide to entertain this summer, keep it fresh, fun and funky and, when in doubt, call the professionals!

With an emphasis on experiential events Opium Events works closely with you to help create unusual elements that make your event unique. We believe that positive shared experiences make for timeless memories that foster brand engagement and loyalty and as such provide an end to end full event management service focused on ensuring that all creative concepts enhance the theme and message of your event as well as adding value to your brand. The only limit is your imagination! Contact us at 077 434 3808 for more information.

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